Ten members of the Harwood Union High School girls soccer team have been named to postseason all-star teams.
Sophomore Tanum Nelson and junior Ashley Proteau were both named to the Capital League First Team and to the Division 2 All-State Team, a collection of the top talent in Vermont’s second-largest soccer division.
Seniors Lili Platt and Amaya Rogers also made the Capital League First Team. Freshman Louisa Thomsen, sophomore Emma Ravelin and senior Anna Jamieson made the Capital League Second Team and freshman Lyric Smith and juniors Anda Gulley and Katie Rush made the Capital League Honorable Mention team.
Harwood’s 10 all-stars helped lead the Highlanders to the Division 2 state championship game, where they lost a squeaker to Rice, 2-1, and finished the season 10-6. The all-league and all-state teams are selected by a vote of the coaches in those respective leagues and divisions.
• Nelson, who was named Capital League Player of the Year as a freshman last year, scored a team-high 26 goals this season. The central midfielder also had five assists and was the linchpin of the Highlanders offense.
“Tanum is one of the best players in the state,” Harwood coach Mike Vasseur said. “She held down the center of the field, distributed, scored goals. She was the complete player on the field for us this year.”
Nelson took a beating during Harwood’s four playoff games, facing double- and triple-teams, but she still continued to produce.
“She was a warrior on the field. She’s so, so tough,” Vasseur said.
• Proteau was Nelson’s running mate at central midfield, and took on a new role as a more defensive-minded player.
“She held down the trailing midfielder” spot, Vasseur said. “She moved the ball out, passed, scored a couple of goals and was our first line of defense.”
Proteau had two goals and two assists on the year and “complemented Tanum well. She did such a fantastic job in the midfield.”
“They’re both incredibly talented, athletic and they like playing together,” Vasseur said about his central midfielders. “Their personalities even complement each other. They’re a really good pairing.”
• Harwood’s other two first-teamers, Rogers and Platt, were both senior captains. Rogers has been the starter in goal for two seasons and had a “phenomenal year,” her coach said.
“She’s a true leader on the field,” he said. She improved her positioning this year and continued to be a vocal leader of the defense.
“She gets them in the right position, communicates, and came up with some really big, key saves for us this year,” Vasseur said.
Rogers made 125 saves this season and capped her final high school season by earning a spot on the Vermont roster for the annual Twin State soccer game, a matchup of the top graduating seniors from Vermont and New Hampshire.
• Platt, a four-year starter for the Highlanders, was also a vocal leader who was able to lock down the right side of the defense, her coach said.
“She preaches team love, tackles hard and moves the ball up well,” Vasseur said. “She’s the complete right back.”
• Harwood’s representatives on the Capital League Second Team are a mix of experience and youth.
Jamieson was the team’s third captain, and the senior really stepped up for the team in her final season, Vasseur said.
“We needed her to be physical and intense and cross the ball” from her wing midfielder spot, he said. Jamieson had goals in two of Harwood’s four playoff games, and dished out three assists in the regular season.
“She really stepped up and did a very good job on the field and in a leadership role this season,” Vasseur said.
Ravelin and Thomsen both played up top as strikers for the Highlanders this year, and were asked to take on major offensive roles. They did just that, in a big way.
Ravelin, a sophomore who played a bit last year, finished the season with seven goals and five assists.
Thomsen, in her first season on varsity, had six goals and two assists.
“Emma got better and better; she really did much better with her first touch,” Vasseur said, while Thomsen “came in on fire” to start the year.
“She had one of the best preseasons I’ve seen,” he said. “She played strong, aggressively and took that into the season.”
• All three of Harwood’s Capital League Honorable Mention team members are underclassmen.
Rush and Gulley are both juniors, defenders who played tough in the center of Harwood’s back line, helping keep the pressure off Rogers.
Smith joined Platt, Rush and Gulley on defense, a freshman playing the pressure-packed position of outside fullback.